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know how many times they've tried to repeal obamacare is this 33 times already. they have wasted over 88 hours and $50 million trying to repeal obamacare. i've got news for you. the president is obama. he is going to veto that bill. it through the senate, anyway. you are wasting the people's time and did not pass a single job creation legislation in that congress. i wonder why you're so popular and here you are back at it again. michele bachmann, welcome to the ring. the first congressional elbow from the sky on michele bachmann and boy does she richly deserve it wasting time and money doing nonsense like this. we will see you of course, as always on the and up next, viewpoint with eliot spitzer.
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>> eliot: good evening, i'm eliot spitzer. this is "viewpoint." the 113th congress convened today for the first time under the capital dome in washington. let's hope it does a better job at governing than the 112th. with the so-called vote on the fiscal cliff behind him and the fight under raising the debt ceiling underway, republican congressman john boehner was re-elected to a second term as speaker. house clerk karen haas gave the tally. >> total number of votes cast is 426 of which the honorable john a. boehner of the state of ohio has received 220. the honorable nancy pelosi of the state of california has received 192. >> eliot: while pelosi got solid support with five democrats voting against her a dozen conservative republicans either abstained or lined up against boehner casting votes instead or candidates including
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majority leader eric cantor of virginia and tea party firebrand allen west. perhaps nobody told them west lost his election. when pelosi handed boehner a symbolic people's gavel boehner resisted the temptation to use it on the rebels in his own caucus. he returned to his favorite topic, reducing the national debt. >> at $16 trillion and rising, our national debt is draining free enterprise and weakening. in our hearts, we know it is wrong to pass this debt on to our kids and grandkids. now we have to be willing truly willing to make this problem right. >> eliot: with rest of house conservatives threatening to hold the debt ceiling hostage to force cuts in social problems, gridlock appears to be underway. for more on the state of the house, i'm joined by congressman jerry nadler, a good friend and congressman from new york. congratulations on starting this
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process all over again. good luck. >> thank you. we'll need it. >> eliot: you will, indeed. it was striking at the end when the fiscal cliff vote did occur. speaker boehner did something that some people actually admire. he brought the bill to the floor and got it passed with 85 republican votes and lot more democratic votes. what does that portend, do you think, for legislating as we go forward? is this the unique example that will somehow be the outliar or does this suggest some sort of convergence of interest is possible? >> i don't know. if we're going to get any kind of deals done that will stop government lurching from crisis to crisis, we're going to need to put together coalitions of democrats and republicans and you won't be able to allow the 75 or 100 hard right tea party types in the republican party to dictate the outcome. the only way you're going to get that is if the speaker is willing to make deals that can only be supported by half the
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democrats, 2/3 of the democrats and probably a majority -- majority of the republicans. whether he'll be willing to do that remains to be seen. >> eliot: he did bring the fiscal cliff the legislation to the floor. it passed with only 85 republicans in violation of the so-called hastert rule which requires a majority of the majority to support a bill before the speaker will bring it. it is an informal rule, not a legislative rule but it has guided legislative process for many years. yet he was re-elected speaker despite that. do you think that encourages him to act this way or we'll let you get away with it this once but never again? >> i think boehner was skillful in the fact he said we'll have an amendment to the senate bill that will -- i forget exactly what he was going to do but radically right wing amendment. if you can get 218 votes we'll put that on the floor and we won't have an agreement. they permitted him in effect,
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to bring to the floor what he did only when they couldn't get 218 votes from more radically right-wing solution. he showed in effect they couldn't get the votes in their own caucus for that. >> eliot: the real battle that we've been watching play out over the last two hidden hand
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behind much of what's going on these days? >> i don't think he's the prime minister figure. i don't know that he's the hidden hand. he's a skillful negotiator. he has the trust of mcconnell whom he dealt with in the senate for many years. he was able to be on behalf of the president, a very skillful negotiator and get a deal done. >> eliot: right. >> i think he's very -- he's a very good vice president
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obviously. that's a major talent and a useful arm for the administration. >> eliot: we have to take a quick break. we'll be back with congressman jerry nadler and more on john now. (vo) she gets the comedians laughing and the thinkers thinking. >>ok, so there's wiggle room in the ten commandments, that's what you're saying. you would rather deal with ahmadinejad than me. >>absolutely. >> and so would mitt romney. (vo) she's joy behar. >>and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking?
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>> i have been in this house for 20 years. there have been many disasters. floods hurricanes,ate quakes, wildfires. in every single instance, this house has voted a for the appropriate -- for the necessary states. in every single instance, usually within a week or two never more than three. it has been nine weeks since october 29th when hurricane sandy devastated three states in parts of more. nine weeks. how can we treat an entire region of the country this way? it is the most disgraceful action i've seen in this house in the 20 years i've been here. there is no excuse for this. none. it is a betrayal of the people of those states. it is a betrayal of the people of the united states. it is the betrayal by the
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speaker, personally, of the members of this house not to permit a vote. i have never seen an action like it. i hope i never see it again. >> eliot: that was my guest congressman jerry nadler eloquent as always on the floor of the house yesterday laying the blame squarely on speaker john boehner for the further unprecedented delay in hurricane relief funds. congressman, there's been some progress because of the outpouring of rage that was -- your speaker symbolic of that. where are we now in the effort to get sandy relief funds? >> we now have a commitment from the speaker and how much the commitment is worth remains to be seen because he broke his previous commitments but we're going to vote tomorrow on $9 billion to replenish the hurricane insurance fund of the united states which otherwise will be bankrupt next week. so we have no choice but to do that. we're told on january 15th, the first full work day we'll vote on the other $51 billion of the $60 billion. i hope that's true. i hope speaker boehner this time
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keeps his word and that we do that. then again, you have to go to the senate because they already passed it but that died with the last congress this morning. they have to pass it all over again. so with luck, by the 20th or 25th or something of january we'll have it done. and speaker boehner's fit of whatever the other night will, of course, the survivors the people struggling to hold hearth and home together, struggling to get businesses off the ground or out from underwater will have cost them at least three weeks. >> eliot: has there been any explanation from speaker boehner to justify rationalize or make sense out of what was such a tone-deaf measure. it was impossible. anybody in politics looked at this and said "really? he did what"? any emnation from his office? >> there's no explanation from his office. one of the problems was there were commitments all day that this was going to be -- that that night, we were going to announce we were taking it up
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the next day. we were whipping on the floor during the fiscal cliff voted 11:00 to make sure that retiring members of congress would stick around the next day to vote on this. existing members -- re-elected members will stick around to be sworn in today. worried that retiring members would have left and we wouldn't have enough votes. all of a sudden, after the fiscal cliff was finished, we found out the word came out we weren't going to schedule for the next day. pete king and mike grimm republicans all tried to see the speaker. he wouldn't meet with them or talk with them. no explanation was given them as far as i know. no explanation has been given. there's been speculation by other people that the speaker didn't want to put the republicans through voting another $60 billion when they just finished voting on the fiscal cliff or something. that's speculation. we haven't heard a word. >> eliot: it is easy and maybe this is excessively paranoid from an east coaster or new yorker there is never a great willingness on the part of
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the republican party or the house, nonnew york noneast coast members to vote funds that go predominantly to new york or in this case, to new york and new jersey where chris christie has been a thorn in the side of the republican party. did that play into it? >> it may have. what's interesting is as i said on the floor in my speech, normally, with katrina the vote was ten days. $64 billion was appropriated ten days after the storm. in other times it has been 20 days, 17 days. why wasn't this done a month and a half ago? why wasn't this done a month ago? the very delay up until now with people from some republicans others saying there is a lot of pork in here and they don't need that kind of money. the $60 billion necessity was very well documented by governors cuomo and christie. their staff people went over it with the staff people here on both sides of the aisle and in both houses. one has to wonder if there's just the reluctance to spend money on this area. >> eliot: look, there is -- you know, it is deeply troubling
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when you see this happening. i worry as we move toward these votes, there will be a demand that there be offsets which is often what happens when you vote to expend -- people say you have to cut it from someplace else. >> historically -- it would be a terrible problem. historically, there have never been offsets for disaster relief. it has been over and above pay go statutes or offsets whatever. when republicans came in two years ago they started talking about offsets. eric cantor started talking about offsets until his region -- there was a major hurricane in virginia and he stopped talking about offsets. to his credit, he has not been raising that now. he's been very good on this. >> eliot: something senator moynihan, it is fair to say we have enormous respect for. back in his day when he was a senator, he used to calculate each year the deficit -- new york pays significant taxes to the federal government. we get far less back each year. >> balance the payment. >> eliot: exactly.
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so again at that level as well, here we finally have a crisis in new york and new jersey. we desperately need the money. it just seems inconceivable. >> governor christie in his press conference pointed it out. new jersey is a donor state. new york is a donor state. it is true. every year, i don't know the exact total now but when moynihan was calculating $17 $18 billion a year of money that -- more money that we sent to washington in the form of taxes collected then we get back in the form of expenditures. now, on the one hand, there's nothing wrong with that, frankly, because we have more upper income people. we believe in a progressive income tax and as a federal union, we ought to raise money where you can most efficiently and equitably raise it and spend it where it's needed. on the other hand, the fact that new york has never flinched and by the way many of our distribution formulas that are written into law is how divvy up transportation aid or education aid or whatever, dates from the 1930s during the new deal when
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at love the programs were initiated. the idea was that new york and areas like that were rich. we had to deliberately shift money from new york to the south. >> eliot: congressman, as always you're theoretically correct but to put a thin political veneer over it, the balance of payments of the blue states is negative. the red states is positive and the red states are saying cut government. >> it is grueling they don't recognize it. and that when we need the money they're so reluctant to appropriate it. >> eliot: that's exactly right. there is an esteemiousness about the red states when suddenly the shoe is on the other foot as the cliche stands. >> when there have been disasters in other areas we have always rushed to appropriate as much money as necessary and when the shoe is on the other foot, it suddenly turned off. and how much -- it took us eight years, pete king, myself, to get a bill passed to take care of the healthcare needs of the first responders and survivors after 9-11.
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that should have been done automatically in six months. >> eliot: no question about it. congressman jerry nadler, thank you for joining us. good luck in the new congressional session. >> peter welch on obama's diminished hand on the debt ceiling. a couple of things that john boehner might actually have done right. really? you know i'd like to arm our viewers with the ability to argue with their conservative uncle joe over the dinner table. ♪ we were skipping stones and letting go ♪ ♪ over the river and down the road ♪ [ female announcer ] at nature valley we know nature comes together in amazing ways. that's why we bring together natural ingredients, like dark chocolate with toasted oats, or sweet golden honey. perfect combinations of nature's delicious ingredients from nature valley. ♪ ♪ ♪ i was thinking that i hope this never ends ♪ [ female announcer ] nature valley granola bars nature at its most delicious.
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@ñ >> eliot: before president obama's auto pen signature averting so the called fiscal cliff was finished, the battle lines over the looming debt ceiling fight were already formed. today the ratings agency moody's warned that a prolonged political battle over the debt ceiling could cause them to downgrade america's debt rating as standard & poors did after 2011's debt ceiling battle. after using all of the cards in his hand in the last round of
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poker, what does president obama have left to bargain with? joining me now is congressman peter welch democrat from vermont. thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> eliot: you were a cliff jumper as we call you saying let's go over the cliff until shortly before the vote was taken. what persuaded you to change your mind on that issue? >> well, it was as good a deal as we could get. i was disappointed on the revenues and if we went over the cliff, i think our prospect on
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Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer
Current January 3, 2013 5:00pm-5:25pm PST

News/Business. (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)

program was likely cut short due to a recording issue

TOPIC FREQUENCY New York 8, Boehner 7, Jerry Nadler 4, John Boehner 3, Pelosi 3, Eliot Spitzer 2, Peter Welch 2, Moynihan 2, Pete King 2, Vo 2, Michele Bachmann 2, Washington 2, Virginia 2, Christie 2, Allen 1, Gavel Boehner 1, Eric Cantor 1, Karen Haas 1, Rolo 1, Federal Union 1
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